OCHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort.
OCHA's mission is to:
- Mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in emergencies;
- Advocate the rights of people in need;
- Promote preparedness and prevention;
- Facilitate sustainable solutions.
In December 1991, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 46/182 designed to strengthen the United Nation's response to both complex emergencies and natural disasters. In addition, it aimed at improving the overall effectiveness of the UN's humanitarian operations in the field.
OCHA is recruiting staff necessary to run the Humanitarian Financing Unit (HFU), which acts as the managing agent of the Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) in Afghanistan. Given the potential for natural disasters and the ongoing conflict in the country, it is of utmost importance that the current staffing gaps are filled in order to support CHF funding requirements to humanitarian operators in-country. Expectations by CHF stakeholders in terms of timelines and institutional capacity are high.
The Finance Officer is expected to help strengthen the CHF Accountability Framework in Afghanistan as well as to support the HFU’s Management. Main duties will include financial review, financial management, Administration and other functions as required.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the overall guidance of the HFU Head of Unit and under the direct supervision of the Pooled-Fund Manager, the incumbent will be expected to be able to perform the following, prioritized according to operational requirements:
Summary of key functions:
- Financial Review
- Financial Management
- Perform a thorough review of the project proposal budgets as per fund operational guidelines and allocation strategy, and ensure cost effectiveness analysis of proposals by cross-checking of items commonly purchased under CHF;
- Support the Pooled-Fund Manager in preparation and review of grant agreements, allocation letter, fund transfer request and supporting documents to ensure accuracy, consistency, reasonableness and compliance with the United Nations Financial Regulations and Rules (UNFRR) and the Country-Based Pooled Funds (CBPF) Operational Guidelines;
- Support the Pooled-Fund Manager in the review of budget revisions, reprogramming or No-Cost Extension requests from implementing partners;
- Ensure on time submission of interim and final financial reports by implementing partners, review and clear the reports in due time as per CBPF Operational guidelines;
- Support the Pooled-Fund Manager on audit process including facilitation of contracting external auditing companies, support the planning, advise on the review/clearance of audit reports and ensure follow-up of critical audit findings;
- Review the partner’s due diligence application to ensure accuracy of their banking information and documentations;
- In line with the CBPF accountability framework, conduct the capacity assessment of partners who passed the first step of the Eligibility process (Due Diligence) to gauge their capacity and assign them with an appropriate risk profile backed up by a comprehensive report based on review of partner’s systems, practices and documentations;
- Conduct periodic financial spot-check visits to partner offices, prepare the spot-check report and ensure visit findings are thoroughly discussed with the partner and recommendations are understood and followed.
- Support the Pooled-Fund Manager in preparing of the cost plan for the Humanitarian Financing Unit and ensure all the needs of the Unit are considered and budgeted
- Liaise with Administration Unit on budgeting of the shared cost items and regularly produce and monitor the expenditure reports to inform further decision-making related to cost plan;
- In close coordination with Pooled Fund Manager, prepare financial analysis of the fund allocations for donor reporting, CHF annual report and the fund dashboards;
- Conduct partner sensitization on CHF procedures and guidelines for accessing grants, working with the Grant Management System (GMS), complying with the United Nations Financial Regulations and Rules (UNFRR) and the Guidelines for Country-Based Pooled Funds (CBPF) through participation in meetings and workshops;
- Track, collect and review financial reports, installment requests, and projects refund on CHF financial tracking sheet from CHF partners to ensure accuracy and compliance with CHF guidelines and provides feedback to colleagues and partners as necessary;
- Maintain the HFU petty cash, record all expenses in UMOJA and ensure reconciliation of cashbook with the physical cash on the safe;
- Closely with Funding Coordination Section (FCS) Finance in New York on financial reports, budget reviews, payments, and refunds;
- Assist HFU staff and CHF stakeholders regarding queries on budget, financial reports, payments, refund and deposit-related issues;
- Provide guidance and advice on CBPFs guidelines, internally (HFU, FCS…) and externally.
- Support the Pooled Fund Manager and Head of the Unit in liaising with companies carrying out contractual services on behalf of the HFU, and provide support and information as and when required;
- Keep up-to-date on documents/reports/guidelines that have a bearing on matters related to program budgets and the CHF in general;
- Document and file all allocation hard copies like allocation letters, fund transfer requests and grant agreements for recording purpose and future reference;
- Perform other duties as required.
- Ability to apply financial rules, regulations and procedures in the UN environment. Ability to maintain accurate records, review and interpret a wide variety of data. Ability to identify and resolve data discrepancies and operational problems. Shows pride in work and in achievements; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; remains calm in stressful situations.
- Proven analytical skills: ability to conduct independent research and analysis, identify issues, and recommend appropriate solutions. Ability to relate humanitarian affairs issues and perspectives, including gender issues, to political economic, social and human rights programs. Ability to work under extreme pressure, on occasion in a highly stressful environment (e.g. armed conflict, civil strife, natural disasters and human misery).
Judgment and Decision-making: Apply sound judgment to resolve a range of issues/problems. Will abide by security guidelines.
Technological Awareness: Solid computer skills, including proficiency in word processing, spreadsheet applications, and relevant software packages, including e-mail.
Communication: Proven ability to write in a clear and concise manner and to communicate effectively, including ability to prepare reports and conduct presentations, articulating options concisely, conveying maximum information, making and defending recommendations.
Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honors commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
Required Skills and Experience
Education: Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree (see below) preferably in Business Management, Accounting, Economics or related field is required.
- Up to 2 years years of relevant experience with Masters and 4 years of relevant experience with Bachelor’s is required;
- Experience in finance and accounting/administration, crisis/emergency program management or other related area, preferably with at least two years with a UN organization or an NGOs is desirable;
- Analytical and writing skills are required, as well as experience with project budgeting and proposal writing;
- Experience with auditing and/or financial review of partners is an advantage.
- Professional fluency in oral and written English and Dari or Pashto is required;
- Candidates will be tested on their linguistic ability.